Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Garden Visits

Blenheim and Rousham Gardens today.
From My Pictures

Blenheim: great tour guide who kept the information flowing and the 'gossip' relevant, although I notice not one mention of the rather wayward Marquis of B, best not mention him I suppose although he appears to have a great deal in common with the 5th & 6th Dukes!

Stunned that Capability Brown turned the fabulous partere into a large lawn. All in the name of progress. Found a not so Secret Garden which was by far the most appealing horticultural space, for me at least. Must make a visit in spring to see those 10k bulbs in bloom.

From My Pictures

Rousham: William Kent gardens Stunning, the sun came out finally. Blousy and suprising dahlia beds, huge and not so huge clipped box and yew, almost clouds but not quite there yet, interesting avenues pointing elegantly at statues and the understated laurel bordered rill. GORGEOUS.

Monday, September 28, 2009

NGS - Willow Holt

End of season for the NGS really but one or two brave places are still opening to the public. Conscious of the need to 'shoot' some autumn images for the photographic project I ventured out to Peterborough to Willow Holt.

It sits in the fenland outside of the town, remote and a little wild, set apart from the huge wind power turbines that grace the horizon and turn slowly.

From 2009_09_27

I chose to go mid/late afternoon to get better light of course assuming the light would be evenly cast. A good lesson in not making assumptions because of course the light in this garden was quite dappled and shady already. Low light shots instead.

Collapsed autumn-ness was upon it, though good structure and clear design prevented a total cave in.

The Dell in it's dappled afternoon sun made it worth the 1 hr trip.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Small Forests

A small forest has been 'donated' to provide sufficient paper to print out the OCGD student notes, well except one section on TPO's which is 92 pages, I'll read that on the laptop(!).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Week I

An anxious couple of days leading up to the start. Filled with emails from the principal and chief cat herder (!) D.

As they say "The best laid plans..." and mine turned to chocolate teapots one after another.

Day 1:
05:30: Rise, way too excited to sleep.
06:15: Emerge from 'noisy' meditation, still way too excited but marginally calmer.
06:45: ablutions complete, packed and re-packed kit and lunch. Realize that Daniel (the male voice of the Sat Nav, and so now the name of the gadget of endless disappointment, confusion and rage) is not charged. PANIC
07:15: Leave home, Daniel is as charged as he is going to get today.
09:08 Arrive at Parking in designated Hall of residence, Daniel is moaning that his battery is low. Check all directions to studio and turn off to save battery.

Somewhere between 09:08 and 09:45 Daniel coughs his last electron leaving me at a crossroads wondering left or right as both match the hasty directions gleaned from the dying embers of Daniels digital 'life'. I ask a local and confidently follow very definite instructions. MISTAKE.

10:05: Two very heavy bags and a very real need to visit the ladies, I telephone for help. How pathetic I think to myself, can't even plan for a simple location finding exercise without getting lost. This doesn't bode well for managing multi-million pound garden implementations!

Thankfully D is much less stressed than I am when we speak and sends A out to find me. Phew. I am much closer than we thought, in fact a mere 100 yds away. Double Phew.

13:00 After a morning of admin, it's lunch break in the brilliant sunshine, we are all trying to be on best behavior, making friends, sussing one another out. Much more nerve wracking than starting a new job ever was!

15:00 Free drawing big and not so big 'o's or letters, making out grids, wealding compass and adjustable set square, this is familiar. However I remain challenged on the letter drawing/modern art exercise. I am hoping secretly this is not the foundation of my new Garden Design career or I am in big trouble.

Day 2:
04:30: wake up worrying that I won't make it in Garden Design and am about to waste the best part of a year and a great deal of money on trying to make it happen.

Later: Forget parking permit, park in Pear Tree park and ride, no bus to right place till 10am. Damn, drive to P&R at Thornhill. Then ONLY 15 mins from car to studio. Impressed.

If you are thinking I am challenged in the car navigation department I can say hand on heart it is only since the arrival of Daniel, who is now relegated to the handbag and in serious danger of being auctioned off on eBay in the near future.

Much later: admin and vehicular logistics are still a bit chaotic and being sorted. I am let down on a previous arrangement, two in fact and try not to be disappointed but don't hide it well. D comes to the rescue again with an alternative closer than before. need to work out a minimal weight pack and reduce items to transport. PLANNING.

Really late: Home by 6pm. Reeling from all the info. Thankful for having done the 4 day course, which we are repeating so not needing to pay so much attention. AM clear that a great deal oif planning is required of me this weekend so that I can be organised and not miss things.

Wondering if the 1.5 days a month work is going to be possible.

Joyful that I may get a discount on council tax and a student rail card!

Still anxious about long term prospects, still VERY excited.
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